Embracing Innovation: How One Construction Company Is Building a Legacy for Our Communities
Development and Innovation Pierre Pomerleau, CEO of Pomerleau, discusses the role innovation, efficiency, and quality in Canada's Infrastructure development.
According to Pierre Pomerleau, President and CEO of Pomerleau, one of Canada’s leading construction companies, there's currently a big push across the country for infrastructure development. “It’s not a secret that our country has underinvested in infrastructure, so we expect the market to grow over the next 10 years,” he says. “In the projects we're involved with, we're seeing a lot of growth potential in public infrastructure. There are some predictions that the market could triple over the next decade.”
Shaping the future
With more than 2,000 projects under its belt over the past 54 years, and the ability to manage more than 150 construction projects simultaneously, Pomerleau is shaping the development of our communities and cities. “Creating infrastructure is a fantastic way to earn a living,” Pomerleau says. “When we work on an airport, hospital, or transportation system, we can see the changes that are happening. It’s gratifying to leave things behind that will improve the lives and health of people in our communities.”
Embracing innovation, efficiency, and quality
There are some fundamental shifts happening in the infrastructure industry, which are leading to better quality, cost savings, and construction time savings. This is benefitting not only the clients, but the users of these infrastructure projects. “We're seeing total collaboration on projects now. There are no silos,” says Pomerleau. “Today, every stakeholder that's involved in a project has input from the beginning.”
Pomerleau is one of main construction partners on Montréal’s new light rail rapid transit system, a 67-km, 26-station initiative, which is the largest infrastructure project in the city in half a century. The supplier of the trains is involved from the beginning of the project, instead of being brought in later when the tracks and guideways have been constructed. This creates huge efficiencies.
“It’s gratifying to leave things behind that will improve the lives and health of people in our communities.”
– Pierre Pomerleau, Pomerleau
Prefabrication is another aspect of the industry that's disrupting the market. The elevated guideways, curtain walls, and even the mechanical rooms for the light rail system are prefabricated and then assembled at the site. This allows the construction to be done in a controlled environment and drastically increases the quality, and it’s also easier to install.
There are lots of other ways that Pomerleau is disrupting the market, including the use of lean construction practices, which help streamline everything and create efficiencies through the entire project. “By working with our trades partners and creating efficiencies in our projects, we can create a symphony instead of chaos,” Pomerleau says.
As part of its culture, Pomerleau embraces innovation, so it can stay ahead of the curve. “The evolution of technology will continue to change and disrupt the industry,” says Pomerleau. “The amount of data we can now get because of technology is making us more efficient. We're the only industry that has seen no improvement in productivity in the last decade, but that's starting to change and over the next decade we anticipate vast improvements, as we continue to integrate innovation.”